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Ads boost Google’s 4th-quarter revenue

Profits up eight times what it was one year ago

Internet powerhouse Google doubled its revenue in the fourth quarter and brought its profit to nearly eight times what it was a year ago.

In its second quarter as a public company, the search giant reported net income of $204 million on revenue of just over $1 billion. For full-year 2004, revenue was up 118% at $3.19 billion and net income more than tripled from $106 million to $399 million.

Netco said just over half its revenue last quarter came from advertising on its own Web site, while the rest came from advertising it splits with affiliates that provide Google search services.

Performance was fueled in large part by the continued boom in online advertising, where major brands and entertainment companies are devoting larger chunks of their marketing budgets to reach hard-to-find young consumers.

Just last month, Google disclosed a service letting users search archived television online. Because it relies on cooperation from Hollywood, Google Video is spurring it to forge partnerships with media companies. In the longer run, it also should help the Netco attract more advertising from studios and networks.

Yahoo is working on a similar service, though. Both Yahoo and Microsoft’s MSN are devoting significant resources to beef up their search offerings and better challenge Google.

After closing down 2% before earnings were announced, Google shares surged nearly 17% in after-hours trading. Since debuting at $85 per share in August, Google stock has more than doubled in just six months to $191.90 at close Tuesday.

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